BLOGS AND DIARIES

02/22/2007 Unia studio diary 2006/2007 Henkka
February 21st 2007:

Finished, done, concluded, complete !
Just came back from the mastering and the album is officially done. It was a nice three days in Stockholm with a lot of happy smiles and naturally a couple of beers. Now we have a couple of days to kick back before additional photo sessions, video shooting, promotion etc. starts. Maybe we even have time to squeeze in some rehearsals before the first shows in April.

There's not much more I want to say about the music, I think I've misled you enough with the few comments I made already. Nevertheless this record is a new beginning of sorts and will far surpass its predecessors at any measures. In a couple of months you'll all hear what I'm talking about. So maybe a little more on what went down in Stockholm ?

On Sunday afternoon (18.2.) I flew down to Helsinki to catch up with the guys and continue to Stockholm. Waiting at the airport for 6+ hours usually sucks and this was no different. About 2 hours before our connecting flight Tony & Tommy joined me at the bistro. Our arrival to Sweden was relatively normal (except that the airlines lost Tony's bag) and a trainride later we're checking into the hotel. Because of the work to be done the next day we decided to take it easy and just a couple of minutes after 0200 I was at sleep.

I'm not too fond of Mondays and waking up around 0700 doesn't help at all. A shower, breakfast and a taxiride later we're at the Cutting Room. The day quickly passes by as we oversee the masteringwork of Björn Engelmann. It's truly a priviledge to follow a true professional at work, occasionally discussing decisions with the whole bunch. The music sounds better than ever and it seems like it was a good idea to come here. Around 1600 we're done mastering all the tracks, so Tuesday will mainly consist of working out the tracklists etc. A quick stop by the hotel and then it's time for dinner. Not being able to decide where to eat we make a compromise and head out to the hardrock café where there's a little bit of everything available. The Anchor (or that's what I think it was called) a bar nearby is the next stop for some of us, while others head for the hotel. At the bar they have somekinda music-quiz going on and of course we participate.... however with a poor result. Well, you can't always win right ?

Come Tuesday morning and it's kinda hard to know what really went wrong. At least there's some happy news: Tonys bag is delivered to the hotel. Later on when we're back at the Cutting Room we work the final masters out and even have time to make a conference-call to the producer of our video. A couple of beers and then off to the airport and towards home....and that's basically it. We we're actually not partying even half as much as I suspected so maybe we're getting old or something.......or perhaps it was just the hangover from FME that held us back. Nevertheless the album rules and that's the end of the studiodiary.

cheers & loud music,
Henkka









January 11th 2007
:


Hello again,
I'm now writing to you from the rainy Helsinki. The mixing at Finnvox has started and a couple of songs are playing in the background as I'm typing this in our rental apartment. Still there is not much more I can say about the music, generally I feel that trying to describe music with words is basically like having someone telling the radionews by playing a piano piece.....you can't win, and will definately not know what's going on. Odd enough ? Nevertheless, the stuff sounds really great. This is actually the first time we hear all the elements together, one of the drawbacks of using a zillion studios.

....and now to the "what I did today"-stuff. On the night between Thursday/Friday last week, my mate Make boarded the train in Kemi....4 hours later I joined him in what would naturally be a whisky-type-travel-disaster. There where no sleeping coaches available so through the night we just chatted and destroyed a bottle of scotch. Upon arrival in Helsinki in the morning we got the keys to the furnitured flat we've rented and so we headed on. First off to Sonic Pump to pick up the files played by Mr. Engberg (acoustic guitars, harp etc...basically a collection of stringed instruments) and then back to the flat to wait a couple of hours for our friends at King Foo to arrive at their office, the plan was to hassle them and have some coffee....around this time however yours truly passed out, having stayed up all night.

Later in the evening, when I woke up, it turns out that KF was hosting a soundtrack-release party for the finnish movie V2, checking that out was a must...and that naturally resulted in another headache. Saturday was spent chilling in the local bars with a couple of friends....which was nice of course. We ended the evening by testing our flat's sauna and it worked pretty damn good. Sunday was a real mellow day, not really doing much anything.

This week the mixing started, around noon on Monday. It took some time to open the files, check everything etc...that time was spent in mainly in the lounge (me & Make) as Mr. Karmila started to unfold the madness. Tuesday was pretty much the same, drinking coffee and occasionally dropping by the studio to check the status and make some suggestions etc...

Come Wednesday we had a later start at the studio, so we took the opportunity to meet up with our Finnish booking agent (Jouni/KingFoo), had a few laughs and sorted out some practical details about the upcoming (not yet announced) Finnish mini-tour before we continued the mixing. We had a bunch of friends over for sauna & beers in the evening and that resulted in a minor hangover that I'm now trying to cure with some grape-juice and work.

In an hour or so, we'll head out back to Finnvox and in the evening we're invited to the premiere of the V2 movie. Tomorrow Tony will join us and I can head back home....still got a couple of solos to play and maybe some other stuff will come up as well.

That's the end of this episode, in conclusion I don't think I write too much before the mastering, maybe a short check in when all the mixing is done. The mastering is now set around the end of February, at Cuttingroom / Stockholm, Sweden. This time around we're all gonna go there to enjoy
the finishing touches of the album, I'm sure there will be some incidents to report to you as well.....at least the censored versions.

The Finnish spring tour will be announced shortly, keep checking the site....
until then I remain silent,
Henkka


December 31st 2006:

As I write this, I've just sent out the last of my keyboard files to Tico-Tico where everything will be assembled before the mixing begins. These recording sessions have been pretty interesting since we've used a lot of different studios. Like I wrote earlier the rhythm guitars were recorded @ Sonic Pump/Helsinki, also one of our visitors Peter Engberg recorded his stuff there (he played all kinds of weird stringed instruments on some of the tracks). At Tico-Tico/Kemi we recorded the drums and bass as well as some of the vocals. In addition to this we did the string-section and Hammonds at Studio57/Kokkola, Tony recorded a lot of vocals & keys in his home-studio, I played my keys at home and I think Jani will do his solos at home as well.....anyways, the mixing starts next week at Finnvox/Helsinki and I don't envy Mr. Karmila at all, he has a hell of a project to deal with.

From the 20 songs we started recording we've now more or less decided to drop a few ones and concentrate on the ones that fit together best. Obviously we can't put all of the rest on the album either, but rest assured that the upcoming record will be pretty long with a lot of stuff for you to digest. So far we're on schedule and the record will be out before the summer.

Touringwise we just announced some dates for the fall tour in the US, there will be more to come as soon as we get them confirmed. We're doing some summer festivals as well, those will be announced as soon as the festivals release their programs. In addition to this there will be some shows in Finland this spring.....also TBA in the near future. We'll keep you updated as usual.

Cheers,
~H


December 5th 2006:

Hello people !

I'll tell you a little bit about where we're at with the album for those of you who're curious. I went to Kemi last week (29.11.) to check out what was happening and to pick up the basic tracks for my overdubs. At that point Tommy had played all the drums, Jani had laid down demoguitars and some of the bass-tracks were also ready. In addition to this there was a whole bunch of singing and keys on there by Tony, so I got a pretty good idea about how things seem to shape up. I hung around the Tico-tico studio for a couple of days, listening to the songs and Marko playing bass.

Anyways, yesterday Tony came down to Kokkola and we headed out to my friend's studio (Studio 57, which is basically in the woods) with a wild bunch of string players. At the end of the day we had two tracks ready, we'll see if they make it to the album. It was however very nice to listen to professionals playing some of our songs, adding their own flavour to the mix.... As I write this, Jani is in Helsinki@Sonic Pump studios, tracking all the rhythm guitars (he'll be done by the end of the week), on Thursday (7.12.) I'll go back to Studio 57 to play some hammond parts and next week I'm supposed to play the Grand Piano for a couple of songs. It's a bit interesting with the hammond & piano since we tune down a half-step and you can't tune those instruments, so it might be a little bit tricky. Those of you who don't know what I'm talking about...never mind...and all you crazy keyboard players out there, you'll know what I mean :) = boring technical details.

So, the album is well on its way....and all the recording should be done by the end of the month. This time around we have about 20 songs, we'll see how many will actually end up on the album. Musically this album will be a lot more progressive than the last one and I think it will end up heavier as well.

That's all for now,
Henkka

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